The Christmas holiday period is expected to be warm but before you hit the crowded beaches, Bundaberg surf life savers have a few tips to ensure you have a safe summer.
Craig Holden, regional operations manager with Surf Life Saving Queensland, said big crowds were a sure thing at local beaches over the break and swimmers should use caution, especially when using inflatable toys.
“A common issue we see regularly is young children (although anyone really) on boogie boards or other flotation toys and devices that can easily get swept outside of the flags and into difficulty,” he said.
“Just be mindful of this and how easy it can be to be swept along the beach or our to sea when on these things.”
Craig said swimmers should also be wary of what's hidden beneath the surface of the water.
“Typically, with our local beaches, submerged rocks can be an issue due to our rocky coastline,” he said.
“Aside from that, it never seems to be Christmas school holidays without seeing a few jellyfish about and usually bluebottles make an appearance at some stage.”
What to do in a rip
Craig said swimmers should also be on the lookout for rips, which could form quickly particularly when the wave heights increase or the surf becomes rough.
“The best thing to do is not to panic. Stay calm, relax, keep yourself afloat and conserve energy while you raise and wave one arm for assistance,” he said.
“For stronger and more confident swimmers, you can also swim parallel to the beach until you are out of the rip and then back to the beach.”
Craig said the Christmas holiday period was a great time to spend at the beach and swimmers should enjoy every minute while following the rules to ensure a safe and happy day out.
“The best advice we can give is to swim only at patrolled beaches, always between the red and yellow flags and only when the lifesavers or lifeguards are on duty,” he said.
“Also, being Christmas and New Year we do ask that people do not drink and swim – by all means have a good time, but if you are planning on drinking please do not go swimming.
“Avoid swimming in and around creek and river mouths – particularly during the runout stage of the tide and also when there are large tidal variances between high and low tide.”
Craig said above all, don't forget to slip, slop, slap.
“Ensure you drink lots of water to stay hydrated, apply sunscreen regularly, seek shade and wear hat, sunnies and long sleeve swim shirts,” he said.